Category: Previous Books

2021: THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET by Sandra Cisneros

THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET is a 1984 novel by Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros. Structured as a series of vignettes, it tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a 12-year-old Chicana girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago. Based in part on Cisneros’s own experience, the novel follows Esperanza over the span of one year in her life […]


WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE by Julie Otsuka Waukesha Reads featured When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka as our 2020 NEA Big Read title! (Click HERE for the NEA’s Reader Resources.) About the Book A day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Julie Otsuka’s grandfather was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on suspicion of being a Japanese spy. Her mother, grandmother, and uncle […]

2012: 1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such […]

2010: MY ÁNTONIA by Willa Cather

MY ÁNTONIA by Willa Cather A beloved American classic, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia (1918) is best summarized by its epigraph-“the best days are the first to flee.” In it, the adult narrator, Jim Burden, remembers his childhood through the memory of his friend, Ántonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant. As Cather herself did, ten-year-old Jim has left […]

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